After the two successful world record-setting drives of Rainer Zietlow with a Volkswagen Touareg from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska along the "Panamericana" in 2011, with a record time of 11 days and 17 hours, and a second record-setting drive in 2012 from Melbourne to St. Petersburg in 17 days and 11 hours, the third world record attempt in 2014 had a longer delay. Due to an unlucky, through no fault of their own accident, the team lost 13 days on the road and resulted in, still, a record time of 21 days and 16 hours. So, in September 2015 the team of Rainer Zietlow, Marius Biela and Sam Roach will once again attempt a new world record in a Volkswagen Touareg. The team will drive from South Africa to Norway, through all countries of eastern Africa, through Middle East and Europe.
The drive starts at Cape Agulhas, South Africa, southernmost tip of Africa, on 11th September 2015. The destination is the nothernmost point of Europe, Nordkapp, which should be reached in less than 10 days. The route is over 18,000 km long, 98% of it paved, and it passes through the countries of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and finally Norway. Awaiting the adventurers are deep potholes in Sudan and Ethiopia, countless switchbacks in the African highlands and the infamous "Road of Hell" with its corrugated and volcanic rock surface in northern Kenya. Temperatures typically range from freezing in Norway to 48 degrees Celsius in Sudan.
The team has prepared for this ambitious project for over a year, including a scouting tour in August from Ethiopia to South Africa that Rainer Zietlow and Marius Biela made. All critical points have been defined, and the entire route has been mapped with GPS data. During the record-setting marathon drive, the team will drive around the clock in a 3-shift system that will only be interrupted for refuelling stops and the usual paper formalities at country borders.
Team leader Rainer Zietlow is being accompanied by Marius Biela, photographer and video productions specialist for Rainer Zietlow since 2009 and the English Sam Roach, CEO of Volkswagen Racing UK. The vehicle that is being used is nearly the same as for the last attempt – the new Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI, which is essentially a standard production car. The only modifications made for this ultimate endurance test were to add a rollover cage and two auxiliary fuel tanks to achieve a driving range of over 3,000 kilometres per fuel stop. All modifications were accomplished in the Volkswagen factory in Bratislava, by the great-working team of the pilot hangar.
During the record drive, the team will post twice-daily reports on their experiences at the website www.touareg-c2c2.com, and a blog will provide information about each day's stage with photos and a brief video. The current position of the Touareg will also be shown on a virtual map that is updated every five minutes.
The Cape-to-Cape2.0 dashboard, developed by main sponsor Hewlett-Packard and Intel will show real-time data from the tour, so all motor enthusiasts can follow the world record attempt live: Where is the team currently driving? What are the actual road and weather conditions and how do they impact the drivers (personal temperature, heartbeat…). How long does it still take them to reach their target location, Nordkapp in Norway? Are there any barriers ahead (e.g. roadblocks) the team needs to be alerted? Monitor Social Media activities and video streaming. Starting on Sept. 10, have a look at www.hp.com/go/hpc2c
As in all of his previous projects since 2005, this year, too, Rainer Zietlow will donate 10 Euro cents per kilometer driven to a SOS Children's Village in Johannesburg, South Africa, and visit the village personally with the Touareg before the record drive to hand over the donation.
The project is sponsored by renowned automotive suppliers, by companies in the IT and service industries and by Volkswagen Slovakia.